Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cushing's Awareness Day

April 8 is Cushing's Awareness Day. Cushing's Syndrome is a hormonal disorder that causes the body to produce abnormally high levels of cortisol. More information about Cushing's can be found here.
As most of you know, this issue is close to our family. Complications from Cushing's Syndrome almost cost Q his life just three years ago.
Cushing's Syndrome is quite rare. So much so Q was living with it for a few years before we even knew what it was. His primary care doctor was even stumped. An endocrinologist was able to diagnose him almost on sight. Here's how he looked shortly before his hospital admission in 2006. This was one of his good days.

During this time, Q needed assistance to get off the couch. He could barely walk up and down stairs. His glaucoma was so bad that he probably shouldn't have been driving a car.
All the while, Q never called in sick to work. On his worst days, he would work from home.
But Q is one of the lucky ones. After spending four months in the hospital, enduring three major surgeries, and an extended recovery, he is living a normal, healthy life with minimal restrictions. In fact, the only way one can tell he was ever sick is the surgical scarring and the bottle of cortisone pills in his medicine cabinet. He still has all the mojo of a 19-year old.
He's able to enjoy the rides at an amusement park...

participate in water sports...

frolic in the pool during a summer rainstorm....

play catch with our sons...

and give Luke some stiff competition at Skee Ball.